A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph, it is an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ~ Richard Avedon (1985) In the American West
How is Nicaraguan Pottery created?
The traditional center of ceramic making in Nicaragua is San Juan de Oriente. There, ceramic pottery is still made today using methods passed down through the generations. Various steps are involved in creating these magnificent works of art:
What is the history of Nicaraguan Pottery?
Although history of the region is sparse, archeological evidence shows the practice goes back at least 2,000 years. Early ceramics used the style and technique of the indigenous Nahua people, more popularly associated with the Aztecs.
Over time, the region became known for the design style called “inciso” (incising into partially dried clay). Trade with other peoples, like the Mayan, was common. Nicaraguan ceramics have been found at burial sites throughout Honduras and Costa Rica.
San Juan de Oriente was originally named San Juan de los Platos by the Spanish because of the plates and other pottery made in the region. Tax records indicate the village paid tribute to the Spanish King with pottery. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821, and the current name of the village was adopted.
In San Juan de Oriente today, nearly all of the families are involved in clay working. The village is approximately ten square blocks. 4,000 of the 5,600 residents are potters. 400 pottery houses line two streets of the village.
How do I maintain these works of art?
Ceramic bowls are glazed on both sides. All glazes are lead free. Pieces glazed on both sides are food and water safe. However, they should not go in the oven, microwave, or dishwasher.
Artisans do not have the facilities to guarantee the other pieces in the collection to be 100% water tight. Vases should be lined or set on a tray, if displayed with fresh flowers.
All Nicaraguan pottery should be wiped clean with a damp cloth or hand washed.
Visit our selection of fair trade Nicaraguan Pottery.